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View Full Version : Question - What do YOU look for from Expo Vendors



Doctor_D
04-19-2004, 08:36 AM
Hello One & All:

As we at the Billiards Workbook prepare for our next Three Expos; the US Open 9 Ball Championships, the Midwest Billiards Expo and the Super Billiards Expo 2005, we are most interested in learning what the attendees are looking for and/or expecting from the vendors they visit with.

Your input, insights and suggestions would prove very valuable as we prepare for these future events.


Dr. D.

Popcorn
04-19-2004, 10:59 AM
I like to have information to bring home. It can be overwhelming and products that were not on your list to specifically look for , but just discover there, don't really get digested till you get home. Also even though it is just what it sounds like, a give away where you get mailing address from interested parties is always good for follow up. Hay, if they did not want to hear a sales pitch they should not be there. You do need something to stop people, because there is a lot to look at. Most of the time I find myself buying stuff I never intended to buy, or knew even existed, but caught my interest. You have to be out there though.

Rich R.
04-19-2004, 11:57 AM
I am probably not the best one to answer this question. I am a terrible shopper. /ccboard/images/graemlins/tongue.gif

Although I usually have something in mind, that I definitely want to pick up, that goes by the wayside. Sometimes I get the stuff and sometimes I don't. At this years Expo, I really intended to get some Quick-Clean, to clean my pool table. I stopped by, said hi to Frank Glen and said I would be back. I never did make it back. /ccboard/images/graemlins/tongue.gif
Sorry Frank, maybe at the Open. /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif

Basically, I am a browser and an impulse buyer. Yes, I know this is not good.

I will browse around the expo, every day. Some things will catch my eye, that others will miss, but I will miss a lot of stuff that everyone else sees.
I tend to stay away from the very crowded booths, because I hate to fight my way through the crowd. I don't care what they are selling.

If something catches my eye, I will buy it. This year, it was one of those crazy bridges, that crank up and down.
Of course, after the first day, I wouldn't go back to Tim Scruggs' booth, because a cue caught my eye and it was way too expensive for my impulsive nature. I knew if I went back, there was a chance I would go crazy and buy it.
I really need another cue. /ccboard/images/graemlins/confused.gif

My wife wasn't any help, because she liked it too, which is rare.

I guess in a nutshell, I am just looking for something to catch my attention and it has to say, "Buy Me".

Hope this helps, but it probably won't. /ccboard/images/graemlins/confused.gif

larrynj1
04-19-2004, 12:16 PM
i always pick up supplies to keep my stuff looking and working good. table-cloth cleaner, q-clean, tips, cement,i'm a sucker for new types of tip clamps.
i'm always wary of new stuff, easy to buy on impulse then think later, what am i going to do with this?
i love books but it seems the vendors are always looking for retail, unless you buy a $150. package that includes books you don't want. if they did some show special pricing, i'd take advantage of that.

inside pool magazine's booth had free candy and bazooka. bubble gum at valley forge .

catscradle
04-19-2004, 12:29 PM
I look for places I can learn something well kind of hanging back in the crowd. I want to avoid a salespersons spiel at all cost, even at the cost of passing by an excellent deal.
Almost anything I buy I went there looking for, I think a lot of men shop that way. They don't go shopping to see what's there, they go looking for something in particular.
In the case of your product I knew from this forum and elsewhere essentially what it was and I know my own personality well enough to know it would just wind up another dust collector. Didn't matter how good the drills in it were, in my case it would have been money thrown away. The only things I bought were a another year's supply of quick-clean and a Sledgehammer cue, both of which I knew I was buying before I went there.

Jimmy B
04-19-2004, 03:24 PM
Knowing your product I'd say give away free wheel barrels with every purchase /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif But on a serious note just be friendly and don't try the hard sell. Knowing your product is the best selling tool, IMO the people who do the best at the shows are the ones who know and believe in what they sell. People like Robin Dodson and Ned do the best because they take people into the booth and really show them how to use the product. I think people go to the show knowing they want a jump cue and then the person who teaches them best how to use it gets the sale. Sure price factors in but who would spend $50 on something that doesn't work when they can spend $75 for one they can use easily? I think friendly people who can really explain the product and make someone believe it works is the best sell, also know the competition, know why yours is better and be ready to back it up. I also think it's very important to understand that some of the people you may speak with might know more then you do, don't treat everyone like a dummy or an expert. You can't teach personality. /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif
As far as deals go I think it's important to make people feel they got a deal, don't run sales, mark the price up and move on it, people love that [censored].
JB

haywood
04-19-2004, 05:45 PM
It has been my experience that people like FREE STUFF. However, dependent on what the product you are selling, it may or may not be economically feasible to offer a freebie to everyone who stops and says hi. I believe in your case what you could do is set up a sort of raffle and give away a book or two at the end of the expo. By doing this, each person that wants to have a chance at winning a book has to put down thier name and address. If nothing else comes of it, you now have a great targeted mailing list of potential customers that you could fire off a brochure to or maybe a thank you card offering a 10% discount for taking the time to stop and check out your product. The best case scenario here is that for the 3 or 4 minutes they are filling out thier name and address, you have a captive audience to make your sales pitch to. Just a few ideas : )

Tom_In_Cincy
04-19-2004, 06:20 PM
I can't wait to meet you finally at the US Open and hopefully at the CCBIII tournament.. whoa... there's an idea... how about a donation of one of your fine 'Workout' books for the CCBIII tournament.

Tom<----hoping to finally meet the lady that loves single malt scotch.

PQQLK9
04-19-2004, 07:09 PM
"Don't go changing" Your exhibit at VF was one of my favorites. The warm reception that you gave my wife and me is something we both cherish.
Thanks again for the Mugs.

9 Ball Girl
04-19-2004, 07:48 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Tom_In_Cincy:</font><hr> whoa... there's an idea... how about a donation of one of your fine 'Workout' books for the CCBIII tournament. <hr /></blockquote>Um, the 'Workout' is a done deal as far as donations go. See the CCB III Tourney post.

Wendy~~~having a "Dad' moment? /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif

Pelican
04-19-2004, 08:21 PM
Everything 90% off and free delivery /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif. Actually, we have only made one since becoming business members, the EXPO in New Orleans. Probably not feasible but would have made things easier for me if like merchandise had been grouped together more to reduce the amount of walking, I'm lazy and got a bad back /ccboard/images/graemlins/crazy.gif. Just wish I could work it into schedule to attend more of them.

Tom_In_Cincy
04-19-2004, 10:10 PM
"duh"

Doctor_D
04-20-2004, 05:16 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Tom_In_Cincy:</font><hr> I can't wait to meet you finally at the US Open and hopefully at the CCBIII tournament.. whoa... there's an idea... how about a donation of one of your fine 'Workout' books for the CCBIII tournament.

Tom&lt;----hoping to finally meet the lady that loves single malt scotch. <hr /></blockquote>


Morning Tom:

Already done!

Check the posts under this year's CCB prize list and you will see that I have already made a Billiards Workbook available for the CCBIII event

Dr. D.

/ccboard/images/graemlins/cool.gif

Vicki
04-20-2004, 10:05 AM
A place to sit.

An option to ship products home so one does not have to carry their merchandise all day.

A place to safely store packages since carrying them all day is a workout.

A private place to conduct business. It is very uncomfortable for some to discuss business deals with people hanging around and interupting you.

A decent cup of coffee. Ya know, something other than Maxwell House.

A little bite to eat at lunch time.

Being at these expos ALL DAY is exhausting and expensive. Any little freebe or convenience or comfort is a big deal.

Hope this is usefull.

Vicki

catscradle
04-21-2004, 01:26 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Vicki:</font><hr> A place to sit.

An option to ship products home so one does not have to carry their merchandise all day.

A place to safely store packages since carrying them all day is a workout.

A private place to conduct business. It is very uncomfortable for some to discuss business deals with people hanging around and interupting you.

A decent cup of coffee. Ya know, something other than Maxwell House.

A little bite to eat at lunch time.

Being at these expos ALL DAY is exhausting and expensive. Any little freebe or convenience or comfort is a big deal.

Hope this is usefull.

Vicki <hr /></blockquote>

Best post of the bunch, wish I'd thought of these things.

Gayle in MD
04-21-2004, 03:22 PM
Hi there,
Just wanted to add that I think "Action" is the greatest attention grabber. As was mentioned, Robin Dodson's jumping lessons were just great. Not only was she extremely friendly, and helpful, and excellent as a jumping instructor, but selling the twenty dollar chances on a free jump cue was smart, since you could apply the twenty bucks to the actual purchase if you didn't win. I was so mad that I had to leave abruptly, as I had every intention of going back the next day with my coupon to purchase her jump cue, and didn't get back there. I was so impressed with her and how patient she was with those who were learning how to jump a ball.
Given the nature of your product, Dr. D., demonstrations on an actual table, someone using your workbook, and actually doing drills would be the ultimate, although it would be logistically much more difficult and costly, what could be better or more interesting to pool players? You could probably rent a table from a table vendor for your booth.

I also think raffles are great! Your mugs were very nice also, but to me, in such a large display of products, "Action" of some kind is the key.

Gayle in Md. Good luck!

Harold Acosta
04-22-2004, 10:33 PM
The mugs were a great idea. Carol got one for me and it was very nice. Will not use it though, since I tend to collect billiard items.

Several other ideas for you:

1. Maybe you could make plastic mugs, like for soft drinks. The cost would be less for you. These you could give out for stopping by. The ceramic mugs could be given with purhase.

2. Order some colorful Bic pens with your logo instead/in lieu of the plastic mugs. Anything to promote your product without going into much expense.

3. A condensed version of the workbook.

4. Maybe raffle a workbook at the end of the expo. Collect business cards from everyone, put it in a jar, and have the raffle take place before the finals of the tournament, in front of everyone.

5. Have autographed pictures of players whom endorse your product.

6. The idea of having web services available was just great.

7. Have flyers of your next presentations.

8. Don't worry, be happy! /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Jimmy B
04-23-2004, 03:44 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Harold Acosta:</font><hr>
3. A condensed version of the workbook.

<hr /></blockquote>

I don't own the workbook, haven't talked with anyone who owns it and I'm not sure how many of the drills are progressive. That being said maybe you can contact the people who bought it and use it and ask for their top 10. Out of those drills make a top 20 condensed version. For the idea all I'd like is the first copy :-) I'll report back.
JB